The Worlds First Crowdfunded Telescope
Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company, launched a crowdfunding campaign for a space telescope which will provide unprecedented public access to space and place the most advanced exploration technology into the hands of students, scientists and a new generation of citizen explorers. The crowdfunding campaign with a goal of raising $1 Million was started on May 29th and quickly raised a substantial amount of the funds needed standing over $325,000 as of this writing.
Investors in Planetary resources list some highly notable names including, Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt and Ross Perot Jr.
Planetary Resources’ technical team, who worked on every recent U.S. Mars lander and rover, will provide direct access to an ARKYD space telescope making space widely available for inspiration, exploration and research.
“I’ve operated rovers and landers on Mars, and now I can share that incredible experience with everyone. People of any age and background will be able to point the telescope outward to investigate our Solar System, deep space, or join us in our study of near-Earth asteroids,” said Chris Lewicki , President and Chief Engineer, Planetary Resources, Inc.
The company will use the proceeds to launch the telescope, fund the creation of the public interface, cover the fulfillment costs for all of the products and services listed in the pledge levels, and fund the immersive educational curriculum for students everywhere. Any proceeds raised beyond the goal will allow for more access to classrooms, museums and science centers, and additional use by individual Kickstarter backers.
Peter H. Diamandis , M.D., Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Planetary Resources, Inc. said,
“When we launched Planetary Resources last year, we had an extraordinary response from the general public. Tens of thousands of people contacted us and wanted to be involved. We are using this Kickstarter campaign as a mechanism to engage the community in a productive way.” Diamandis added, “In the last 50 years, space exploration has been led by national governmental agencies with their own set of priorities; and now we’re changing the nature of exploration. We’re developing the most advanced space technology ever made available to the public. Let’s explore the cosmos together!”
Eric Anderson , Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Planetary Resources, Inc. said,
“Since the public announcement of Planetary Resources last April, the company has doubled in size, brought on key strategic partners, was awarded numerous contracts and is on track for its primary mission of identifying and prospecting asteroids within this decade.”
Sara Seager , Ph.D., Professor of Physics and Planetary Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said,
“The ARKYD crowdfunding campaign is extraordinary. Not only does the telescope have the technical capability to increase our understanding of space, but it can be placed in orbit for an incredibly low cost. That is an economic breakthrough that will accelerate space-based research now and in the future.”
Planetary Resources is joined in this adventure by a large group of campaign supporters including the Museum of Flight, Griffith Observatory, Liberty Science Center, Museum of Science and Industry, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Virgin Galactic and The Planetary Society.
Bill Nye the Science Guy, CEO of The Planetary Society noted,
“It’s a fantastic convergence of spacecraft technology and crowdfunding. Students everywhere can get involved – around the world and now above the world.”
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